When bad editing happens to good TV
Last January, PopWatchers called out certain networks for their questionable editing of feature films. Now, we’d like you to file charges against networks that are unintentionally inflicting bad editing on good TV. I’ll go first…
The Perp: Logo. I first saw all five seasons of Showtime’s Queer as Folk on YouTube, so I was looking forward to watching the late-night Logo repeats on my 26″ flatscreen. That is until I saw episode 202. Spoiler alert circa 2002, that’s the one where Brian (Gale Harold) has to help Justin (Randy Harrison), who’d been bashed at his prom in the first season finale, remember the near fatal attack so he can begin to move past it. The whole point is that Justin won’t touch or allow himself to be touched, so it’s a big deal when he finally tells Brian “I want you inside me.” Only Logo cut it to “I want you.” Then, the network cut the entire sex scene, which angered me not as someone who’d just started the weekend with multiple mojitos and would’ve been pleased to see a nude Brian Kinney, but as someone who knew that they’d trimmed a love scene that had actual character development. It’s the first time we see Brian — who doesn’t believe in love or romance — be that tender. The first (and maybe only?) time we believe that hedonistic Brian’s primary concern in bed is his partner.
We asked Logo to explain what gives, and Marc Leonard, SVP of Multiplatform Programming, was kind enough to respond: Obviously, any show that goes from a paid cable channel such as Showtime or HBO to an ad-supported network like Logo will have to be trimmed to make room for commercials. “Of course we strongly avoid editing out the scenes that most significantly advance the story,” he said in an email. “Some material is also edited for content. Audience expectations for content on ad-supported television channels are different than for paid TV channels, so basic cable and network outlets edit paid cable shows for this wider audience. Ad-supported channels edit content to exclude explicit sexual dialogue, nudity, expletives and gratuitous violence. And MTV Networks, Logo’s parent company, is proud of its long-running tradition of applying the same policies across all channels equally, and treating LGBT sexual depictions the same as heterosexual ones.”
In short, I’ll need to rent the DVDs.